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County Suspends and Calls for Audit of Overseas Education Programmes

Uasin Gishu Governor Mr. Jonathan Chelilim has responded to the county assembly’s ad hoc committee recommendation report on the alleged misconduct in the ongoing overseas education programmes in Finland.

In a press briefing on Thursday, the governor said that his Executive Committee had received and discussed the report and resolved that the county suspends all new students’ applications for both Finland and Canada education programmes and only handle the continuing students.

The cabinet further called for the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) to quickly carry out a forensic audit on the Uasin Gishu Trust account and finalize the same within 30 days noting that any official found culpable would face the full force of the law.

Uasin Gishu County Government employees involved in the management of the overseas trust account and the programme were urged to step aside pending completion of the forensic audit by the EACC.

Additionally, the trust will continue to facilitate the ongoing students as part of the recommendations of the county assembly Ad Hoc committee formed in early February to discuss and investigate the alleged misconduct in the overseas education program after a public outcry that there was a suspected mishandling of the funds.

The county executive further encouraged parents with students in Finland to settle fees within timelines already negotiated by the task force that was formed by the governor last December.

“In line with my manifesto to enhance skills and employability of our youth, I have expanded the terms of reference of the Finland task force headed by the Deputy Governor Engineer John Barorot to discuss and develop a policy framework that will govern overseas students’ programmes for Uasin Gishu county and will engage all stakeholders including county assembly committees handling matters of youth and education,” said Chelilim.

The county boss asked the universities in Finland to consider allowing parents and students to pay fees directly to the colleges as that is the practice all over the world and not to engage in third party agents.

According to the Governor, a total of 202 students’ study in various universities in Finland taking degree and diploma programmes. Some 111 students are enrolled at Tampere university, 66 at Laurea and 25 others study at Jyvaskyla University.

He confirmed that the first group of students left Kenya for Finland between September 2021 and September 2022. Another group of 56 students who have been studying online is expected to join Laurea university, after paying the second semester fees by March 31st 2023 before travelling.

By Ekuwam Sylvester

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